Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Eng's Char Siew Wanton Mee : Ah Ching's Claypot Rice

Chong Hoi Ching, also known as Ah Ching helms the claypot rice at this outlet in East Village is a familiar face to those that have been patronizing the popular Geylang Claypot Rice. He was their former head chef and was with them for over 20 years before starting out on his own. He used to run a stall in Toa Payoh then moved to Bedok South before moving to the current location after securing the franchise of Eng's since last November.

He is still cooking the way he knows how to do so all these decades. He still insists on using the old grains of a specific grade and quality for a roasted aroma which attributed to the golden brown burnt at the bottom, the distinction of a good claypot rice. The rice was half-cooked on the stove before adding the ingredients and finishing off on the charcoal fire, it is all about good control of heat to ensure it is cooked evenly without getting it burnt. There are a few factors like the type of grains, the type of claypots and the control of the fire that determine a good claypot rice.

I asked, "How long is the waiting time for the claypot rice?" The waiting staff answered, "About 30 minutes. We cook them upon order." I ordered the medium portion at $13 to share with my dining companion. There are 3 sizes, the small portion at $7, the medium at $13 and the large at $23. I did not order the wanton mee nor other zi char dishes. A lady approached the table next to us and ask, "How was the claypot rice?" Those seemed to be their regular customers as they shared some positive feedback.

While waiting, there were other customers came for their claypot rice and some have called earlier to order. We waited for about 20 minutes for it to be served. The waiting staff asked, "How much do you want the dark sauce to be added? Some people do not like and they just want a bit of it. Is normal good for you." I nodded. She then started to add in the thick caramel dark sauce and rapidly mixing it with the rice and ingredients using a big metal spoon.

It was served with ingredients like Chinese sausage, salted fish, chicken chunks and greens. The texture of the chicken chunks was smooth and there was also taste bits of mashed salted fish in the rice. It was flavorful enough to eat it without the sambal chilli though and the smokiness could be detected amidst it. There was a nice crispy layer at the bottom of the claypot which I did not know how to appreciate.

The tip is to call to order the claypot rice in advance to avoid the waiting time. 

430 Upper Changi Road #01-09 East Village SINGAPORE 487048
Operating Hours: 8.00 am to 10.00 pm (Daily)

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